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Plastic Recycling June 13, 2024 04:00:58 PM

The Coca-Cola Foundation Donates $10 Million to Help Reduce Plastic Packaging Waste in 7 African Islands

Paul Ploumis
ScrapMonster Author
Leveraging on IUCN’s global network and expertise, the IslandPlas project focuses on innovation.

The Coca-Cola Foundation Donates $10 Million to Help Reduce Plastic Packaging Waste in 7 African Islands

SEATTLE (Scrap Monster): The Coca-Cola Foundation has announced a US$10 million grant to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). This grant aims to support IUCN's efforts in implementing circular solutions in seven islands to mitigate plastic waste leakage and foster the islands' transition towards waste-free environments through the IslandPlas project.

This three-year project targets seven African Islands; Mauritius, Cabo Verde, Comoros, Madagascar, Soo Tome and Príncipe, Seychelles, and Zanzibar. It aims to enhance the livelihoods of approximately 9,600 individuals in the informal waste sector, reduce plastic waste through the collection of approximately 14,000 tons and recycling of approximately 5,600 tons, and spur economic growth by leveraging US$2 million in capital investments towards innovation and enterprise development in the sector.

“We believe in solutions that accelerate the transition toward a circular economy and stem the flow of waste leakage into rivers and oceans,” stated Carlos Pagoaga, President of The Coca-Cola Foundation. “Our support will empower local waste actors and encourage innovations to help the collection and recycling of packaging waste,” he added.

With an ambition to drastically reduce plastic leakage into oceans, the IslandPlas project aligns with the Ministerial Declaration adopted by the Ministerial Conference on the Blue and Circular Economy in the Island States of Africa and the Indian Ocean in September 2023.

Leveraging on IUCN’s global network and expertise, the IslandPlas project focuses on innovation. It taps into the human capital of the seven islands – converting their local knowledge and lived experiences into sector-specific and locally-appropriate innovations to help solve the plastic packaging waste challenges on these seven islands.

“One lever to achieving a circular economy is the urgent improvement in waste management and recycling systems around the world. This means empowering local waste actors and innovating locally,” remarked Luisa Ortega, President of Coca-Cola's Africa Operating Unit. “This project is expected to positively impact these critical actors as we work towards achieving Islands without waste on the continent,” she concluded.

Luther Bois Anukur, IUCN’s Regional Director for Eastern and Southern Africa noted, “IslandPlas is a groundbreaking initiative that takes a comprehensive, community-centric approach to tackling the plastic pollution crisis on Islands. By focusing on collection, recycling, empowering waste workers, and promoting alternative business models, we are offering a replicable model for collaborative action that will protect our oceans and empower local Island communities."

Highlighting Coca-Cola’s longstanding relationship with Mauritius, the official announcement ceremony of the IslandPlas project took place during Coca-Cola Africa’s annual system conference. This event brings together bottling partners and associates of The Coca-Cola Company on the continent for in-person engagements.

Courtesy: www.iucn.org

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